Wednesday, November 21, 2018



Pregnant women who take paracetamol could lower their child's IQ and raise their risk of autism, research finds

No drug is free of side-effects but I have long noted that paracetamol (APAP) is much more dangerous than aspirin, principally because of its well-established liver toxicity.  The findings below would seem to add to that message but maybe not.  People who take a lot of painkillers are probably of worse health overall.  So maybe all we are seeing is that the children of unhealthy mother are unhealthy too.

The journal article is "Prenatal Exposure to Acetaminophen and Risk for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis, and Meta-Regression Analysis of Cohort Studies" and the authors  there are also cautious about the meaning of the findings.  They say: "These findings are concerning; however, results should be interpreted with caution given that the available evidence consists of observational studies and is susceptible to several potential sources of bias.


Women who take paracetamol during pregnancy risk lowering their child's IQ, a study has revealed. Taking the drug is also associated with a higher risk of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and autism. 

Researchers from US universities, including Harvard, reviewed nine studies that looked at 150,000 mothers and babies in total.  Their findings suggest that the balance of hormones in the uterus are altered by taking paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen (APAP).

One study analysed found a three-point drop in IQ for five-year-old children whose mothers had taken paracetamol for pain relief without fever. Other research shows youngsters exposed to the drug in the womb struggled with speech.

It's not the first time scientists have found a link between paracetamol use and delayed speech.

In January, research from New York found that taking the go-to-pain relieving drug during pregnancy delays babies' speech by up to six times. 

Expectant mothers who take acetaminophen more than six times during their early pregnancies are significantly more likely to have daughters with limited vocabularies, the study found. 

Paracetamol is generally available without prescription and is the most commonly used medication in pregnancy. 

Research this year has shown the common painkiller can raise a child's risk of ADHD by up to 30 per cent, and up to a 20 per cent for autism, when taken by their mothers.

The study, led by Dr Ilan Matok, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, analysed 132,738 mother-child pairs over three-to-11 years.

Dr Matok said: 'Our findings suggest an association between prolonged acetaminophen use and an increase in the risk of autism and ADHD.'

SOURCE

*****************************

Bernie Sanders Vows in Tweet to ‘Put an End’ to Walmart's ‘Outrageous Greed’ with ‘The Stop WALMART Act’

It's pretty clear that, as a traditional Leftist, what drives him is rage at wealth.  His real aim is to tear down the rich, not lift up the poor



In a flurry of tweets on his Twitter page late last week, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) vowed to “put an end” to Walmart’s “outrageous greed” by introducing “The Stop WALMART Act.”

“While Walmart claims it cannot afford to pay its workers $15 an hour, it was able to find enough money to pay its CEO more than $22 million last year,” wrote Sen. Bernie Sanders on Twitter Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. “Tomorrow @RepRoKhanna and I will be introducing The Stop WALMART Act to put an end to their outrageous greed.”

A day prior, Sen. Sanders went after the Walton family specifically, noting the amount he claims they make in one day and reiterating his intention to introduce legislation to compel Walmart to pay its workers more money.

“Last year, 4 members of the Walton family of Walmart made $12.7 billion in 1 day,” wrote Sen. Bernie Sanders in a tweet on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. “It would take a full-time Walmart worker making $11/hr over 653,000 years to make that much.

“Thursday, @RepRoKhanna and I are introducing legislation to make Walmart pay its workers a living wage,” continued Sanders in the same tweet.

It would take a full-time Walmart worker making $11/hr over 653,000 years to make that much.

Thursday, @RepRoKhanna and I are introducing legislation to make Walmart pay its workers a living wage.

“The Walton family on Walmart owns more wealth than the bottom 40% of Americans. “Meanwhile 55% of Walmart’s associates are food insecure.

“This is what we mean when we talk about a rigged economy, and why I’m introducing a bill tomorrow to make Walmart start paying a living wage.”

In another post, Sen. Sanders retweeted a piece from CNN.com on the unveiling of the “Stop Walmart Act.” The CNN piece did acknowledge that Walmart “raised its minimm wage to $11 an hour” this past February.

In a final tweet on the topic to date, Sen. Sanders said Friday, “I say to the Walton family of Walmart: The American people are sick and tired of subsidizing your greed. Get off of welfare and pay your workers a living wage.”

SOURCE

**********************************

Ocasio-Cortez Makes Embarrassing Gaffe; Doesn’t Know What The 3 Branches Of Govt Are

She must be the most ill-informed politician of all time.  She has only her hate going for her.  She even appears to hate some of her fellow Leftists

New York Democratic Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who will officially become a member of Congress in January, has no idea how the federal government works.

On Saturday night, the young socialist held a Facebook live video chat to urge people to support Democrats taking back “all three chambers of Congress.”

“The Progressive movement works and it wins in all districts. If we work our butts off to make sure that we take back all three chambers of Congress– three chambers of government,” she said.

After realizing there aren’t three “chambers” of government, she attempted to clarify by saying she meant the House, Senate, and White House.

The three branches of government are the legislative, executive, and judicial. And it was quite obvious to many that the socialist darling had no idea what she was talking about.

SOURCE

****************************************

Prison Reform: Major Achievement for President Trump

Trump has endorsed the bipartisan criminal justice reform bill. It would  expand rehabilitative opportunities and reduce mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related crimes

Ken Blackwell
   
The FIRST STEP Act is the beginning of a transformation of America’s federal criminal justice system into what it should have always been: a system that makes America safer. This legislation unites conservatives, police, civil rights advocates, civil libertarians, business leaders, and supporters of social justice. Supporting this legislation means supporting an America that is fair.

The fact that law-enforcement groups like the Fraternal Order of Police and The International Association of Chiefs of Police support this legislation indicates this is nothing of what critics' claim. In fact, it is a conservative issue whose time has come at the federal level. I have battled with many of my friends about what criminal justice reform is and what it is not.

As conservatives, we should ensure that the punishment fits the crime. Our judicial system should not be one size fits all. Yet an adherence to rigid mandatory minimum laws means that federal judges too often must impose a sentence that cannot be adjusted based on the specific facts of the case. This is not a conservative position.

It is also not a conservative position to put faith in a bureaucratic system like the Bureau of Prisons as a tower of virtue. We know what bureaucracies do — primarily spend too much money with a lot of overhead and no real solutions to problems. A prison population that is overwhelmed with low-level crimes like selling an elephant tusk on the Internet or violating a fishing license is absurd.

Or take Weldon Angelos, a man who was sentenced to 55 years in federal prison because he sold marijuana while possessing an otherwise legal firearm, even though he never used the gun. The judge in this case had no choice but to impose an absurd sentence for a low-level drug offense.

Even as we feel a moral command to ensure our criminal justice system reflects our values, it is important to remember that the First Step Act is not an article of faith. It is based on proven results in states across the country. Indeed, it is red states like Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina that have proven we can both cut crime and incarceration at the same time.

Part of these states' recipe for success was expanding proven rehabilitation programs, including those with a faith component, which has been excluded from the federal component. I have many friends and colleagues who have been in prison ministries that see results, whether it is through education or helping prisoners to turn their lives around. The empathy we show the less fortunate is a mandate by God to do justice but to love mercy.

This legislation provides a way for prisoners to reenter society and become productive citizens again via education and job programs that get them back on the right track. Ninety-five percent of prisoners who enter federal prison will one day get out. Why would we not do what we can as a society to make sure they are connected with their families?

The First Step Act invests $250 million over the next decade in such programs, but research suggests by reducing recidivism we will obtain a strong return on this investment.

This legislation is a win for the American people, but it is also a win for this president. Not only would he be transforming the lives of millions of Americans, he would be achieving something his predecessor only gave lip service to. Even when he had complete control of Congress, Barack Obama didn’t even try to move legislation that would most notably impact the African-American community.

I see the leadership of this president. Donald Trump has not forgotten about the disenfranchised, whom the Left always says it is looking out for.

This is a law-and-order president who believes in justice, and the First Step Act will get us closer to true justice. It is surprising that supporters of President Trump would not see how significant and important this would be for the president and the country. It would show he can work across the aisle leading with conservative principles, as he has for the past two years.

It’s time to get it done!

SOURCE

************************************

Stoking Division
   
Do you recall during the final 2016 presidential debate when Donald Trump was asked to preemptively surrender by accepting the results of the presidential election if he lost? Trump said it would depend on the circumstances. In other words, he wasn’t going to accept cheating.

Democrats and their media allies were shocked and outraged. Hillary Clinton accused Trump of “denigrating” and “talking down our democracy.”

Well, Democrats were shocked again on Nov. 8, 2016, when they lost the presidential election. Hillary Clinton refused to accept the results on Election Night. She sent her campaign chairman, John Podesta, out to tell the crowd to go home.

And almost immediately, Clinton’s top campaign officials met and plotted out a narrative to undermine the legitimacy of Trump’s election by promoting the idea that he colluded with the Russians.

They have convinced a sizable percentage of the country that the president was not duly elected, that the election was stolen from them. They further undermined the confidence of the same portion of the country that is already inclined to violence.

As I have noted before, the Left has been engaging in political violence for decades. It subsided for a time, but came roaring back with the Occupy Wall Street movement in the Obama years and then with the rise of antifa.

One recent poll found that as many as 35% of Americans feel it is okay to engage in violence to pursue political ends.

Fast forward to 2018. Once again, Democrats are the ones refusing to accept the results of the elections and “talking down our democracy.”

Lawyers representing Stacey Abrams, the Democrat nominee for governor of Georgia, are preparing to go into court to demand a new election. She is being encouraged by top Democrats, all possible 2020 contenders, who are stoking the fires on the fringe Left by suggesting that the Georgia race was “stolen” from Abrams.

At a financial summit on Tuesday, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker said, “I think that Stacey Abrams’ election is being stolen from her, using what I think are insidious measures to disenfranchise certain groups of people.”

That same evening, Hillary Clinton told an audience in Austin, Texas, “If [Abrams] had a fair election, she already would have won.”

And speaking to Al Sharpton’s group Wednesday, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown said, “If Stacey Abrams doesn’t win in Georgia, they stole it. It’s clear. It’s clear. I say that publicly.”

Ironically, they are saying this when it seems more and more races are being stolen by the Left. By the way, all three federal judges who have been dragging out the election disputes in Florida and Georgia are Obama appointees!

SOURCE

*********************************

72 percent say media ‘dividing Americans,’ spreading ‘hate’

Nearly three-quarters of the country believes that the media are “dividing Americans” along political, racial, and gender lines, a stunning condemnation of the press, according to a new national survey.

What’s more, the Zogby Analytics poll provided to Secrets said that the media bias is sparking hate and misunderstanding.

And while Americans also blame President Trump for dividing voters, the survey analysis said the media are worse. Those surveyed, said Zogby Analytics, “felt the mainstream media spreads hate and misunderstanding, also felt that President Trump is responsible for the spread of hate and misunderstanding, but more voters overall, and in most sub-groups, blame the media slightly more!”

While 7-in-10 men and women agreed that the media are to blame for dividing the nation, Republicans were nearly unanimous while just 51 percent of Democrats said the press was to blame.

SOURCE

*********************************

For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

**************************



Tuesday, November 20, 2018


If Trump Ended Birthright Citizenship by Executive Order, He’d Be Enforcing Existing Law

President Donald Trump’s critics have found something else to rend their garments over: his determination to end so-called “birthright citizenship.” Why, they thunder, it’s unconstitutional. And even if it could be changed, it can’t be by executive order.

They’re wrong on both counts.

That probably comes as a surprise to many Americans, including some who consider themselves Trump supporters. Haven’t we all been told for years that if you’re born here, you’re automatically a U.S. citizen? It’s all right there in the 14th Amendment. No matter who your parents are or what their status is, you’re an American. Simple as that.

Or is it? Consider the actual wording: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States wherein they reside.”

Seems pretty cut and dry, but check out that crucial clause: “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” It’s easy to mumble over it, but we shouldn’t. The Senate included it there for a reason when it passed the amendment in 1868: to make it clear that not everyone born here is automatically a citizen.

Being born here is only half the equation. You also must be “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” The original proposed wording of the amendment did not include that phrase. It was inserted specifically to make it clear that the law did not, in fact, confer citizenship on everyone born here.

Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan, a member of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction and a strong supporter of the Citizenship Clause, noted that Congress intended to exclude “persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, [or] who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States.” Supreme Court cases decided in the years soon after the amendment’s passage confirm this view.

Moreover, says constitutional scholar Edward Erler: “It is hard to conclude that the framers of the 14th Amendment intended to confer citizenship on the children of aliens illegally present when they explicitly denied that boon to Native Americans legally present but subject to a foreign jurisdiction.”

Notes Hillsdale College’s Matthew Spalding: “Few developed nations practice the rule of jus soli, or ‘right of the soil.’ More common is jus sanguinis, ‘right of blood,’ by which a child’s citizenship is determined by parental citizenship, not place of birth.”

In short, it was wise of Congress to limit the scope of the amendment. And those who misinterpret it are wrong. Trump should be commended for trying to bring current understanding back in line with the original intent of the framers.

That leaves us with the question of whether he would be right to set this issue straight via an executive order. Some people who agree with him on birthright citizenship, such as National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy, believe that he shouldn’t. They argue that it should be done by the same body that issued the amendment in the first place: Congress.

In other words, this is a job for Congress, the branch of government that creates our laws, not the executive, which enforces them.

According to McCarthy, a president cannot “unilaterally change an understanding of the law that has been in effect for decades under a duly enacted federal law.”

Granted, but as constitutional scholar Hans von Spakovsky points out, “that assumes the ‘understanding’ is the correct one. If that understanding actually violates the plain text and intent of the law, the president as the chief law-enforcement officer can, and indeed has an obligation, to direct the federal government to begin applying and enforcing it correctly.”

To put it another way, the president here would not be attempting to make a new law, but to enforce the correct view of an existing law.

Sure, his order would be immediately challenged. Perhaps we’d even wind up with Congress clarifying the original intent of the law. All the more reason to do it. Fairness demands that we get this issue settled—and soon.

SOURCE 

*********************************

The kosher-industrial complex

When there's a need, a free market will answer it

by Jeff Jacoby

IN THE 1960s and 1970s, when my four siblings and I were kids, we weren't allowed to eat Oreo or Pepperidge Farm cookies. Tootsie Rolls were off-limits, too. So were Bazooka bubble gum and Jelly Bellies. And though we often heard the commercial jingle proclaiming "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee," that was a claim the Jacoby youngsters could never verify empirically.

Our parents weren't opposed to sweets. But we grew up in an Orthodox Jewish home where kashrut — the kosher dietary laws — were observed. And none of those yummy treats was kosher.

Now, however, all of them are kosher, along with scores of thousands of other products available in American supermarkets — everything from salsa and spring rolls to salmon and scotch. And thereby hangs a tale: a tale of age-old religious commitment combining with capitalist innovation and in the process transforming a major US industry.

With kosher food as with so many other things, where there is a need, a free market will satisfy it.

America has undergone a kosher revolution. It wasn't all that long ago that demand for kosher food was restricted to a tiny niche of the public — Jews amount to less than 2 percent of the US population, and only a minority of Jews keep kosher. When my mother, who was raised in a non-observant Jewish home in Ohio, began keeping the dietary laws in the early 1950s, she at first had so much trouble finding kosher food that in three months she had lost 20 pounds.

Today, kosher is everywhere. More than 40 percent of packaged foods and beverages now sold in the United States are kosher, their labels bearing the logo of a trusted kashrut-certifying agency, such as the Orthodox Union (OU) or Star-K. Mainstream supermarkets routinely stock large kosher sections. Some grocery chains have become a kosher foodie paradise. American consumers spend an estimated $13 billion annually on kosher food, with sales growing by double digits each year. In her 2010 book Kosher Nation, a deep dive into kashrut in contemporary America, journalist Sue Fishkoff explained that the desire for food certified as kosher goes far beyond the relatively tiny demographic of observant Jews.

"More than 11.2 million Americans regularly buy kosher food, 13 percent of the adult consumer population," Fishkoff writes. "These are people who buy the products because they are kosher, not shoppers who pick up Heinz ketchup, Miller beer, or Cheerios because they like the taste or the price." But only about 1.5 million of those customers are Jews committed to keeping kosher, she points out, which means that "at least 86 percent of the nation's 11.2 million kosher consumers are not religious Jews." Eighty-six percent!

The rules of kashrut, which originated in biblical times, govern both the permissibility and the preparation of food. Some foods are explicitly banned, such as shellfish or pork. Others, such as beef and poultry, are allowed — but only if the animal was properly slaughtered and the meat drained of blood. Moreover, dairy and meat products may never be combined. As with most codes of law, the general principles are only the starting point. The devil is in the details, which multiply exponentially when food is processed and packaged in industrial facilities, with ingredients that often include additives, emulsifiers, colorings, or enzymes sourced from manufacturers worldwide.

With the rise of 20th-century food technology, determining whether a product was kosher increasingly required expertise far beyond the ken of a typical Jewish homemaker. That led to the birth of professional, nonprofit kashrut agencies. "In the early 1920s, the OU came up with a plan to offer food manufacturers a kosher supervision and certification process that would be recognized by Jewish consumers nationwide," Fishkoff recounts. The first company to take up the offer was Heinz, whose canned vegetarian beans began carrying kosher certification in 1923 — a distinction the company played up in advertising targeted to Jews.

But other companies were slow — very slow — to follow suit. In 1945, the OU's kosher symbol appeared on just 184 products made by 37 companies; by 1961, that had grown to 1,830 products from 359 companies — still a mere drop in the food-industry bucket.

Gradually, though, market demand for kosher food was spreading beyond observant Jews. Vegetarians began to see kosher certification on a dairy product as a guarantee that it contained no animal byproducts whatsoever. Muslims, for whom pigs are anathema, learned that the kosher symbol on a package meant there was no pork or lard inside. Other consumers came to associate kashrut with a higher level of purity than US law mandates — an association encouraged by the tagline of a famous Hebrew National hot dog commercial: "We're kosher, and have to answer to an even higher authority."

Critical mass was reached in the late 1980s. "Applications for kosher certification have been pouring in at a rate of 25 to 30 a month, double that of five years ago," observed The New York Times in 1989. Food companies had discovered that the costs of going kosher — replacing ingredients, upgrading equipment, paying for on-site supervision — were more than repaid with increased sales. Jelly Belly, for example, had to spend $650,000 to replace the non-kosher starch it had always used in its candy. Yet within a year of becoming kosher, the company's chief operating officer exulted: "Our product is flying off the shelf."

Big Food's stampede to kashrut has turned kosher certification into a global operation. According to OU officials, the agency now certifies 800,000 products produced in more than 8,500 plants in nearly half the world's countries. And OU is only one (albeit the largest) of the kashrut agencies.

Some foods, of course, can never be kosher. Unlike the forbidden Oreos of my youth, McDonald's Double Cheeseburgers and New England clam chowder will never be brought under the tent. But kosher has undeniably gone mainstream. In the rise of the kosher-industrial complex, all parties have come out ahead. It has generated a vast array of formerly inaccessible options for a small religious minority. It has enabled a key industry to meet a growing market demand and reap billions of dollars in revenue. It has enriched contemporary American culture with one of the most ancient food traditions of all. And it has done it all not through top-down coercion, but through voluntary private cooperation.

What could be more quintessentially American?

SOURCE 

*************************************

GOP House Scrambling To Pass Agenda Before Democrats Take Over

With the impending change in power in the House of Representatives following the midterm elections, the outgoing majority Republicans have a ticking clock to make headway on their agenda initiatives.

According to The Daily Caller News Foundation, Republican representatives are optimistic that they will be able to pass key legislation before the end of their term.

Ohio’s Republican Rep. Jim Jordan named a list of priority bills that he thinks Republicans should try to send to President Donald Trump’s desk before Republicans lose their majority.

“Republicans still have an opportunity to do what we said,” Jordan told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Tuesday.

“We should fund the border security wall, pass a farm bill that requires able-bodied adults to work if they receive welfare, and keep working to hold the FBI and (Department of Justice) accountable for their misconduct during and after the 2016 election,” he said.

Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, recommended that Trump find bipartisan issues that both parties will agree to push forward.

“The Democrats risk looking like a party having a temper tantrum if they continue to just resist and persecute,” Schlapp said to TheDCNF. They may dislike the president but he persists and they need to find a way to be constructive.”

“The administration should also try to work on issues they can work together on like infrastructure, 5G, increasing labor availability, limiting overseas military engagements and the Nat’l security issues around China,” he continued.

“The Democrats have a chance to look like they are ready for this moment and with big problems voters will be judging if this is a fling or a long-term commitment.”

Prior to the midterms, outgoing House Majority Leader Paul Ryan promised Trump a “big fight” to find funding for the border wall as soon as midterm elections had passed, The Associated Press reported.

“We intend on having a full-fledged discussion about how to complete this mission of securing our border and we will have a big fight about it,” Ryan said during a speech at the National Press Club.

Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady was positive as he spoke to reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. Brady said Republicans will pass legislation before the end of the year if they’re not obstructed by Democrats.

Among the issues that Brady believes Republicans should address are the Family Savings Act and Tax Reform 2.0.

“So we’ve got a couple of priorities for the lame duck. Obviously, Tax Reform 2.0 passed out the House in July with 44 Democratic votes for the three bills, so we’re hopeful that we can find bipartisan support and common ground for some of that here in the lame duck,” Brady said, according to The Daily Caller.

“I think, especially the Family Savings Act, which is a big step forward on helping families and workers save more and earlier. I think we’ve done good bipartisan work there, with the Senate as well, so I’m hopeful,” he added.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, who is slated to win the Senate seat following the end of the Florida recount, told TheDCNF that he plans to work with “everybody” on crucial legislation.

“I think everyone comes up here with an idea of what they’d like to accomplish for their citizens they represent,” Scott told TheDCNF on Wednesday.

“I’m in the same position. I’m going to work with everybody I can to get stuff done and I hope everybody else does the same thing.”

SOURCE 

********************************

Trump Predicts Democrats Will ‘Come to Their Senses,’ Threatens Government Shutdown If They Don’t

President Donald Trump said Saturday the looming arrival of a caravan of migrants would make the coming weeks a time to take a stand for border security or risk a government shutdown.

Trump said he thinks Democrats will “come to their senses” and no shutdown will be necessary.

The president spoke to the media briefly Saturday as he was preparing to leave for California. “We’re talking about border wall, we’re talking about quite a big sum of money, about $5 billion,” Trump said.

The proposal has been a hard sell for many Republicans and is rejected by most Democrats. It is now coming to the fore as an issue because border wall funding is part of a bill that must be passed by Dec. 7 to keep the government fully operational.

“I think probably, if I was ever going to do a shutdown over border security, when you look at the caravans, when you look at the mess, when you look at the people coming in, this would be a very good time to do a shutdown,” Trump said.

Trump said he does expect that eventuality, the Washington Times reported.

“I don’t think it’s going to be necessary, because I think the Democrats will come to their senses, and if they don’t come to their senses, we will continue to win elections,” he said.

SOURCE 

*********************************

For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

**************************


Monday, November 19, 2018


A New Face and a New Mission For Republicans

Address by David Horowitz to a gathering of Colorado legislators following the mid-terms

Here’s my lesson from the recent election in my newly adopted state: You’re too damn nice.

Democrats call Republicans “racists, sexists, homophobes, Islamophobes, xenophobes” and “Nazis.” And Republicans call Democrats … “liberals.” Stop it! What are Democrats liberal about except sex, drugs, spending other people’s money, coddling criminals, giving America’s mortal enemies like Iran the benefit of the doubt, nuclear weapons and billions in cash to finance their terrorist activities, and opening borders to terrorists, sexual predators and whoever comes along? Democrats don’t even believe in due process any more. Innocent until proven guilty? That’s for aging white men – Republicans. The Democrats are satisfied with guilt by accusation. The Democratic Party is a party of racists, character assassins and, oh, liars. Say it.

Democrats, as should also be apparent from this election are the party of the rich – they outspent you by $330 million in this election. Why are you keeping that a secret? Why don’t you ever mention that fact and nail them for their hypocrisy as pretending to be champions of the poor? Democrats are the party of race and gender oppression: if you are white Christian and male, you are guilty before the fact, and if you are female or “of color,” you are innocent even if the facts prove you guilty. Democrats control every inner city of size in America 100%, and have for 50 to 100 years. Every injustice, every oppression, every killing field, every failed school system which year in and year out destroys the lives of poor mainly black and Hispanic children, Democrats are 100% responsible for. Yet you are too polite to ever mention it. Democrats are a party of racists with their boot heels on the necks of the inner-city poor, mainly black and Hispanic. Fight fire with fire. Before you say anything else, blast them with these facts. You need this to neutralize their efforts to demonize you.

How did the Democratic Party become a party of leftwing racism and anti-Americanism? Through the schools. From kindergarten to university, American schools have been transformed by the ideological left into training and indoctrination centers for radical, anti-American ideas. On every publicly funded university campus from Boulder to Fort Collins, without exception, conservatives are as rare as unicorns, and conservative required texts and speakers as well. This purging of conservatives from publicly supported schools does not happen by accident. Yet it has happened over a forty-year period without any challenge from Republican legislators.

Fifteen years ago, I came to Colorado to launch a campaign for an Academic Bill of Rights that would ensure that university students were presented with two sides to controversial questions, presented in a fair-minded manner, and that they would have access to required readings from conservatives as well as leftists. I met with eleven of you at the Brown Palace. John Andrews who was then leader of the Colorado senate sponsored a resolution supporting my bill that was passed unanimously by both houses of the legislature.

But Republicans lost the elections the following year, and nothing was ever done to implement viewpoint diversity in the educational system. During the next fifteen years, while Republicans did nothing to push back, the academic left became more and more radical, so now the primary curriculum of the liberal arts divisions of Colorado public universities, teaches hatred of white Christian males, and hatred of this great democracy they created.

I’m back again to try to prod you to do something so that the destructive left doesn’t have another 15 years to groom communist cadres to enter the Democratic Party and work to destroy this country.

To begin with, I would like to persuade you to form a committee or caucus that focuses on education, and specifically on what is taught in the classroom, rather than just educational budgets and the like. Let me give you can idea of what is being taught in the classroom. Here is a curriculum that ought to make your hairs stand on end. It is called “Forms of Oppression.”

When I hear the word “oppression” in reference to America, I immediately know that there is an anti-American Marxist behind it. No one is oppressed in America – although you couldn’t tell that to Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren or the Democrat National Committee, who think America is a nation of racial and sexual hierarchies, and is characterized by systemic racism and sexism. This is the leftwing, identity politics fantasy that warps the thinking of progressives and Democrats. The reality is nothing of the kind. No one – no race, no gender, no class - is oppressed in America. If they were there would be an exodus from this country. If you are oppressed and you are free to leave, you do. No one is leaving America. There are legions and caravans composed of people of color risking their lives to come here. Why do you think Haitians risk their lives to become Americans? To be oppressed? On the contrary. They are desperate to come here because they have more rights, more privileges, more freedom and more opportunity as black Haitians in America than they do in Haiti, which has been run by blacks for over 200 years.

But in our schools they are teaching that America is a system of racial and sexual hierarchies oppressing women, minorities and the poor. This is the curriculum “Forms of Oppression” I just mentioned:



So, whites, heterosexuals, successful people, Christians are oppressors, while “people of color,” women, gays, poor people, and all religions but Christians are oppressed. And social justice requires attacks on white privilege, male privilege, heterosexual privilege, class privilege and Christianity. This is the creed of cultural Marxism, and it is the current philosophy of the Democratic Party, and the American educational system, including all of Colorado’s universities.

This particular curriculum I have outlined – or rather provided the outline of, is not for college students, however. It has been drawn up especially for K-12 students. It is, in fact, a K-12 curriculum underwritten by the Santa Barbara California School District to the tune of a quarter of a million dollars. The organization responsible for it, which calls itself “Just Communities,” is already operating in a dozen states, and is only one of dozens, maybe hundreds of similar radical organizations that are providing K-12 curriculums across the country, including Black Lives Matter, and the Muslim Brotherhood front group, CAIR.

To combat these sinister forces, my organization has drawn up a “Code of Ethics for K-12 Teachers,” which would, if enforced, stop the current use of K-12 classrooms as political platforms for the left, and restore the only kind of education appropriate to a democracy – one that teaches students how to think, and doesn’t tell them what to think.

If you’re not familiar with what is going on in K-12 schools across the country, kindergarteners and first graders are being taught that they have “gender fluidity” and “white skin privilege,” and that the election of Donald Trump was a tragedy. The National Science Foundation has given a $1 million grant to Drexel University to train 20 teachers in “Social Justice in Mathematics,” which consists of using leftwing statistics as examples in arithmetic problems. Apparently no part of the K-12 curriculum is to be free of indoctrination in racist, destructive, and discredited leftwing ideas.

The whole nation witnessed what this politicization of the K-12 schools can entail following the Parkland School shooting, when Democrat-aligned teacher unions across the country, recruited their K-12 students to leave their classrooms and participate in a gun control “March for Life” to advance a specific Democrat political agenda.

How would the “Code of Ethics for K-12 Teachers” stop this politicization of our educational system? By legislation that would declare partisan advocacy unprofessional and unacceptable for K-12 teachers. Based on the Hatch Act, which prevents civil servants from using their position to advance partisan political agendas, the Code forbids public school teachers from advocating for a political candidate or political party in the classroom, and extends that principle to preventing them advocating on either side of any controversial issue. A controversial issue is defined as any issue that appears in the platform of a political party.

I would like you first to form an education caucus which would focus on these curriculum issues and see that teachers adhere to a professional standard appropriate to a democracy like ours. In addition to forming the aforementioned education caucus, I would like you to put the K-12 Code in statutory form, as has already been done in Virginia, and is being done in other states. Obviously, the legislation cannot be enacted at this moment, since you have lost your majority. But the battle is itself important, something that unlike Democrats, Republicans don’t often understand. The battle itself will draw attention to what is actually going on in our schools, and will have the effect of mobilizing parents to fight back.

I consider this to be one of the most important battles Republicans can wage. Not only because it exposes the racism of the identity politics left, and their abuse of our children. But because our country and its principles cannot survive if we surrender our schools to people at war with them.

SOURCE

**********************************

Crooks and Communists Fight to Lead House Democratic Caucus

These are the charmers in the new Democrat House

The chair of the Democratic Caucus is one of those influential positions that nobody thinks twice about.

In 2016, Rep. Linda Sanchez got to be the vice-chair of the Democratic Caucus and her appointment was touted as an identity politics first. To get the job, Rep. Sanchez had to beat out Rep. Barbara Lee, an admirer of murderous Communist dictator Fidel Castro. And Sanchez only beat out Lee by two votes.

Together with sister, Loretta Sanchez, who had warned, "the Vietnamese and the Republicans are... trying to take this seat", the Sanchez sisters were also the only disgraceful sister duo in the House.

Rep. Sanchez had set her sights on serving as the chair of the Democratic Caucus, a position formerly held by luminaries like Senator Bob Menendez, Rep. John Larson, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Dan Rostenkowski, sent to prison for mail fraud. But then her husband was indicted on corruption charges.

Sanchez announced that she was dropping out of the contest to due to “an unexpected family matter.”

”Earlier today I learned that my husband is facing charges in Connecticut,” Sanchez stated. “After careful consideration of the time and energy being in leadership demands, I have decided that my focus now needs to be on my son, my family, and my constituents in California."

James Sullivan, Sanchez’s husband, who served as the chair of the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Corporation, along with others is accused of misusing $800K from CMEEC on trips to the Kentucky Derby and luxury golf resorts, chartered planes and high end hotels.

The Justice Department press release mentions, “trips for Sullivan and his family members to attend the Kentucky Derby in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and airfare for a flight for Sullivan’s wife to travel to Key West, Florida, in December 2014.”

That refers to Rep. Linda Sanchez, whose House Democrats bio claims that she had fought to help “hard working people get ahead”.  Or at least the hard working horses at the Kentucky Derby

It’s best to focus on the needs of your constituents in California when flying to Florida and Kentucky at the expense of homeowners in Connecticut and the Department of Energy is no longer an option.

Sanchez’s office had claimed that the Kentucky Derby trip had been okayed by the House Ethics Committee whose approval she had sought “out of an abundance of caution”.

And then the FBI investigation began.

But that’s not the end of that scandal.

Norwich Public Utilities had also paid out $35,000 to settle a harassment complaint against Sanchez's husband by a female employee.

The love story of Sanchez and Sullivan was the usual romantic Democrat tale of crony love at taxpayer expense. Sullivan met Sanchez while on a trip to lobby Congress for an exception for stimulus spending for the Metropolitan District Commission in Hartford.

Sullivan talked Rep. Larson into getting his guys a taste of that sweet stimulus spending. Then Rep. Larson introduced his new best friend to Rep. Sanchez and it was a match made in the swamp.

James Sullivan brought back $90 million back for the MDC and married his blushing bride in Rep. Larson’s office. Rep. Sanchez described their relationship as, “down to earth, committed and heartfelt.”

Now it’s Sullivan who might end up being committed.

Rep. Larson, a major stimulus booster, was the former chair and vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus. Sullivan’s relationship with Rep. Larson dated back to his college days. Sullivan had tried to run for Congress and his bio describes him as “long active in Democratic Party politics” and a "delegate to the 2000 Democratic National Convention." He won his primary and was backed by the New York Times.

Sullivan seemed to combine his lobbying with JMS Consulting while serving as a board member and chairman at the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative and a board member and chairman at Norwich Public Utilities. Sullivan had been paid to lobby for the Metropolitan District Commission.

While Sullivan was on the CMEEC board, MDC got into business with the CMEEC. Sullivan was also paid to lobby for Brightfields, a solar energy company, which partnered with CMEEC for the “largest solar and energy storage system in Connecticut”.

If Rep. Sanchez had been a Republican, the entanglement of a House vice-chair in vice would have been front page news. Instead it was carefully buried. There were few stories about it before the midterms.

And almost all the coverage has been local.

With Rep. Sanchez out, the Vice-Chair of the Democratic Caucus has become a two person race between Rep. Barbara Lee, an admirer of Fidel Castro, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who was paid $1.65 million by a law firm for which he worked, even while holding public office, allegedly without any clear sign of ever working on a case. Once in the House, Rep. Jeffries had vowed to tackle Republican corruption.

It’s a tough choice.

Rep. Barbara Lee is a radical leftist who praised Castro for having, “led a revolution in Cuba that led social improvements for his people.”

“We need to stop and pause and mourn his loss,” she had declared after his death.

Rep. Sanchez had only beaten out Rep. Lee for vice chair of the Democratic Caucus by two votes.

According to Jeffries, he received $1.52 million from a personal injury firm from the $25 million judgement for Eugene Sims, an armed criminal shot during a struggle over a gun with a police officer.

The race between Rep. Lee and Rep. Jeffries will divide the Congressional Black Caucus between its older hidebound members and a new generation of smoother activists. Either way though the position will belong to the Progressive Caucus: Lee, Jeffries and Sanchez are all members of the radical lefty club.

But some members are more radical than others.

If Rep. Barbara Lee becomes the next House Democratic Caucus chair, she will be its most “progressive” yet. Lee has a history with the Black Panthers and of collaborating with Communists. When Rep. Lee accuses Trump of colluding with Russia, it’s coming from a woman who did collude with the USSR.

“Outraged by President Trump’s 2 hr meeting w/Putin, the man who orchestrated attacks on our democracy. Where do his loyalties lie?” Rep. Lee demanded.

That might be a better question to ask a politician who aided Communist regimes throughout the Cold War, and who was publicly supported by the Communist Party in the United States. She’s an opponent of Israel, and opposed military action after 9/11. She’s also the likely next House Dem Caucus chair.

Rep. Lee used to serve on the board of a Soviet front group. Now she’ll be near the top of the Dems.

The new Democrat House will be divided between corrupt crooks and crooked Communists. The nearly $1 billion that bought them the House in the midterms will be used to steal trillions at taxpayer expense.

Edwin Edwards had famously run against a neo-Nazi on the slogan, "Vote For the Crook. It's Important." The Democrats may have lost their chance to vote for the crook. They’re stuck with the Communist.

SOURCE 

*********************************

For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

**************************

Sunday, November 18, 2018



Laura Ingraham Issues Dire Warning To GOP: Fix Voter Fraud Or Kiss 2020 Goodbye

Laura Ingraham is sounding the alarm for the GOP to fix voter fraud or else risk losing the 2020 election at their own peril.

In an op-ed for Fox News, Ingraham began by recalling the John F. Kennedy victory over Nixon, where voter fraud in Illinois and Texas is believed to have been what propelled the young Democrat to victory in 1960.

“We may be witnessing yet another in a series of stolen elections in Florida,” she began. “Democrats are experts at pulling swifties at the ballot box, you know, it is widely believed that they resorted to voter fraud in Illinois and Texas to tilt the election of John F. Kennedy over Nixon in 1960. And they may be up to their old tricks again.”

The Daily Wire reports:

Since last week’s mid-term election, all eyes have been focused on Broward County in Florida, where County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes has been exposed as a woman of either gross incompetence or shrewd machinations. Finding ballots in the trunks of people’s cars, lack of transparency with officials on the ballot counting process, and mixing illegal provisional ballots in with legal ones are just a few of the allegations leveled against her. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has even called for Snipes to step down.

Ingraham rightly noted that Republicans who raised the issue of voter fraud in Florida were roundly dismissed by the media, with both The New York Times and Chris Cuomo of CNN asserting that no proof exists of voter fraud.

She provides some helpful facts:

Things are so bad in Palm Beach that Governor Rick Scott, who is in a tight Senate race there, sued the county election supervisor, Susan Bucher.

The judge determined that she had illegally withheld over voted and under voted ballots from the canvassing board. And worse, she has refused to allow public scrutiny of the ballots.​

And the governor has also sued Broward County election supervisor — something of, kind of her own rock star, these days, Brenda Snipes. Now, Snipes is a piece of work. Her predecessor literally walked out of her office in 2003 for a grave and neglect mismanagement and incompetence. Practically a tradition down there in Broward. And in May, a judge found Brenda Snipes guilty of illegally destroying ballots during a primary election in 2016. Then in August, a court found her guilty of secretly opening mail-in ballots, which is illegal in her state.

Then on Friday, Governor Scott won his lawsuit against Snipes. The court found that in this election, she continued to “discover” new ballots. She was found in violation of the state’s public records law and has been ordered to release information to Governor Scott. So far, she hasn’t complied with the order.

Ingraham concluded her piece by warning the GOP that they have to take voter fraud seriously or risk losing the 2020 election, which could come down to close calls in key swing states.

“We cannot allow this flouting of the rules and procedures by corrupt officials or political hacks,” Ingraham asserted. “We can’t let it stand. If we allow this to go unchecked, it will undermine our democracy, and like a contagion, it’s going to spread across the nation.”

“If this isn’t cleaned up, I’m telling you, the GOP can kiss any hopes of restoring their majority, let alone a presidential victory, well, they can kiss it bye-bye in 2020,” she concluded.

SOURCE 

*******************************

Nancy Pelosi Isn’t Radical Enough For The Democrats: It’s Ocasio Cortez’s Party Now

Socialist know-nothing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the future of the Democrat Party. Nancy Pelosi is its past, but she’s probably its present too despite threats to deny her another Speakership.

Spectator USA reports:

The Ocasio-Cortez contingent in the party has determined that Nancy Pelosi simply isn’t radical enough. That will be news to many on the American Right for whom she has served as a longtime bĂȘte noir and whose strident advocacy of San Francisco values provided fodder for countless Republican campaign ads and fundraising letters.

For Republicans she’s a radical who favors amnesty, citizenship, and voting rights for illegal aliens, government funded abortion on demand, and impeaching the president. But in the current Democrat Party she’s a mushy moderate. For her part, Ocasio-Cortez spent Tuesday, her first day in Washington, DC, protesting climate change in Pelosi’s office. And here I thought climate change was President Trump’s fault.

So what do Democrats want? For one thing, they seem to want people decidedly to the Left of Pelosi. After all, in the recently past election they elected not only Ocasio-Cortez but also fellow-travelers like Lauren Underwood in Illinois and the Israel-hating Ilhan Omar who has been accused of marrying her brother. But that doesn’t mean Pelosi won’t take up the Speaker’s gavel again. She’s a shrewd and ruthless political operator who retains the loyalty of much of the caucus, even though some progressives promised in their campaigns this fall that they would not support her. And Democrats might not want internal strife right now.

Two years ago, when Donald Trump’s victory made the white working class that year’s electoral unicorn, some Democrats thought they needed a leader like Tim Ryan, a white, male, blue-collar Democrat from a rust-belt district in Ohio. He unsuccessfully challenged Pelosi for Speaker in 2017 and said the day before the midterms that he might do so again. This year, with a raft of recently-elected radical progressive women, Democrats are unlikely to find him compelling.

Democrats have, as ever, an aggressive legislative agenda that would, in Barack Obama’s words, ‘fundamentally transform the country’ but they know it’s going nowhere. House Democrats will probably pass a massive expansion of Medicaid, an amnesty bill, and maybe legislation to take control of elections away from the states. They won’t become law, but they will whet the appetite of their base and give them rallying points for their campaign to take control of the Senate in 2020 when Republicans will be defending 22 seats. But for now, with a divided Congress, everything but essential legislation will be mooted until 2021.

But unlike Republicans who, under the ineffectual leadership of the Ryan-McCarthy team dithered away two years of unified government, Democrats will use the power they have. And that means aggressive application of the House’s subpoena power to defame, delegitimize, and destroy the president and everyone in his circle. Already incoming House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) has made it clear that he intends to ‘go all in on Russia’ and impeach Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

At this point, Nancy Pelosi, who was long on the leftward fringe of her party, is now no longer truly representative of the new Jacobins who form the center of power. But so far none have emerged to challenge her. That’s mostly structural: the powerful committee leaders, who ascend to power on seniority and fealty are mostly devoted to Pelosi, while the claque most likely to want to oust Pelosi is composed largely of backbenchers and incoming freshman.

What’s more, Pelosi has the backing of the institutional Left. The Washington Post reports that the pro-abortion lobbying and donation dispensing juggernaut, Emily’s List has made calls to incoming Democrats supporting Pelosi and that ‘The leaders of two major unions — the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the American Federation of Teachers — sent letters Monday declaring their support.’ So while there’s probably an appetite for new leadership there is no obvious new leader. And as politicos are wont to remind us, you can’t be someone with no one. This means that the 78 year old Pelosi is very likely to become the next Speaker.

But given her age and often remarked upon public disorientation, Democrats should be considering the future. And that means grooming the next generation by replacing Steny Hoyer and others in the leadership structure. Ambitious Democrats who want to lead their party in the post-Pelosi era should be focusing their efforts there.

SOURCE 

****************************

Socialism’s Empty Seduction

The overarching message of “The Opportunity Cost of Socialism”—a study recently released by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA)—is that the advocacy of socialism cannot reasonably be based on policy preferences; its attraction has always been grounded in a combination of wishful thinking and ignorance. For example, the new CEA study shows that the socialist approach to “single payer” health care advocated by many on the left would cost much more and deliver much less, resulting in the significant worsening of mortality and morbidity, not just higher taxes and reduced economic growth.

One prominent opinion page editor described the CEA study’s conclusions to me as too obvious to warrant mention. That reaction reflects the problem the study seeks to remedy. Obvious facts about socialism are not discussed enough. Few people are willing to read 50-page studies like the CEA’s, and there has been very little media coverage of it—journalists or politicians who could summarize the CEA findings haven’t seen sufficient reason to do so (or may themselves be among the uninformed advocates of socialism). That is too bad because the ignorant advocacy of socialism is currently a significant threat to our democracy.

Socialism has existed in many forms which lie on a continuum, from the central planning nightmare of the USSR, to the Scandinavian democratic experiments of several decades ago. The idea that unites the various embodiments of socialism along that continuum is that economic freedom is counterproductive to the aspirations of humanity. It would be far better and fairer, socialists argue, for the state to distribute scarce resources rather than letting the market allocate goods and services by itself. Socialism seeks control of economic decisions, either through central planning or through expropriative taxation and regulation, in the interest of the common man.

The difference between market-based and socialist economies is not the presence of redistributive policies per se. For over a century, around the world, market-based economies have taxed and redistributed wealth, and provided a host of services such as public education and care for the poor, sick, and elderly. The difference is that in market-based systems taxation is regarded as an unfortunate burden, which is employed out of necessity to ensure that other priorities are achieved. In contrast, in socialist regimes, taxation is not regarded as an undesirable consequence, but as a means to prevent individuals from counterproductively controlling their collective economic destiny.

Socialism’s appeal has always been its false promise to create wealth better than capitalism can. Advocates of socialism promise great economic achievements, which they argue are worth the price of reduced individual economic liberty. It is worth remembering that Karl Marx regarded socialism as an economic necessity that would emerge out of the ashes of capitalism precisely because capitalism would fail to sustain wealth creation. Marx made many specific, and erroneous, predictions about capitalism, including its declining profitability and rising unemployment. His analysis did not consider permanent economic growth in a capitalist system to be a possibility. And his “historical materialist” view of political choice claimed the rich and powerful would never share power voluntarily with their economic lessers, or create social safety nets. Writing in the mid-19th century, Marx fundamentally failed to understand the huge changes in technology, political suffrage, or social safety net policies that were occurring around him.

Not only has socialist theory been wrong about the economic and political fruits of capitalism, it failed to see the problems that arise in socialist governments. Socialism’s record has been pain, not gain, especially for the poor. Socialism produced mass starvation in Eastern Europe and China, as it undermined the ability of farmers to grow and market their crops. In less extreme incarnations, such as the UK in the decades after World War II and before Margaret Thatcher, it stunted growth. In most cases, socialism’s monopoly on economic control also fomented corruption by government officials, as was especially apparent in Latin American and African socialist regimes. The adverse economic consequences of socialism led the Scandinavian countries to dial back their versions of socialism in the past decades. If the United States had imitated Scandinavian-style socialism, the CEA study estimates that our GDP today would be 19 percent lower.

Socialism has been abandoned in virtually all of the developing world. Countries today do not seek to emulate the disasters of North Korea, Cuba, or Venezuela. They also avoid high taxation of the rich. That reflects the recognition that countries compete with each other for capital. Expropriating the rich tends to make them leave, and when they leave they take their wealth with them.

This philosophical shift in the developing world is a major change since the 1980s when socialism was still fashionable among some. The shift away from socialist thinking was grounded in the growing body of empirical evidence about the kinds of policies that produced growth and poverty alleviation—that is, policies that used markets as a lever of economic development. Now developing countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, India, China, South Africa, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia are known as “emerging economies,” a description that recognizes their need to emerge from state control of their economies through privatization, free trade, and the creation of viable private financial intermediaries to promote growth and poverty alleviation. All around the developing world, socialism is understood as a false promise, an ideological opium that repressive elites use to retain and expand power. Capitalism, in contrast, is seen as the force that has lifted over a billion people out of poverty worldwide since 1990.

To historians, that was obvious long before the 1980s. Socialism has never conquered poverty. It has never competed with capitalism as a means of effectively allocating resources and promoting sustainable growth. Over the past half century, scores of economic historians have sought to explain the factors that produced the economic progress that Europe and some of its offshoots enjoyed in the 18th-20th centuries. This group of scholars, which includes Angus Maddison, Joel Mokyr, Eric Jones, David Landes, Deirdre McCloskey and Douglass North, tend to hold quite diverse political preferences, but they universally agree on the facts: Government policies that safeguard a combination of personal economic freedom, secure property rights, and the ability of individuals to gain personally by participating in markets have promoted the effort and innovation that conquered poverty and promoted growth through the ages.

The facts about socialism and capitalism may shock the young people of America, many of whom lionize Bernie Sanders, an unapologetic socialist who honeymooned in the USSR, as the new conscience of our nation—and many of whom, 51 percent according to Gallup, now have a positive view of socialism. Only 45 percent have a positive view of capitalism. That represents a 12-point decline in young adults’ positive views about capitalism in just the past two years.  Many of these young people are thoughtful and intelligent—but they are also ignorant about the history and economics of the systems they favor or condemn. This is the main reason why they must read this important CEA study.

SOURCE 

*****************************

CNN Legend Larry King: CNN 'Is Not a News Network'

Radio and TV legend Larry King, who hosted Larry King Live on CNN for 25 years, said that CNN today is "not a news network" but an "opinion" network -- "they stopped doing news."

King, who has worked in radio and TV since 1957 and has won an Emmy, two Peabodys, and 10 Cable Ace Awards, made his remarks on the Nov. 15 edition of the Law & Crime Network, an online program that covers the U.S. justice system.

When asked about CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta's recent hostile tangle with President Donald Trump, Larry King said, “Jim [Acosta] was a little out of line. I wouldn’t have gone that far. He [Trump] answered one or two questions then he didn’t want to answer anymore."

"You got a room full of people all of whom have the right to ask questions," said King.  "Jim might have gone a little too far. The president kept going back to him, referring you could run CNN, who should run CNN. To me, you know what this was? Eighth grade. It was the playground, ‘That’s my ball and I want to play today on the team.’ It was childish.”

The host then asked, "My question is, what is the role of the journalist? Should they become the star of the story?"

King, who has conducted more than 33,000 interviews in his career, said,  “No. I’ve been in the business 61 years and I’ve always felt that the guest was the star. The person your asking the question of is, for want of a better term, the star."

"At a Trump press conference, Trump is the star," said King.  "You try to learn as much as you can from him. But you’re not bigger than him. It isn’t about you. It’s about him."

Commenting on his old network, King said,  “The terrible part to me is, after all those years at CNN and now – is to see CNN has become — as is Fox, and MSNBC — Trump networks. There’s the anti-Trump network, the partial anti-Trump network

SOURCE 

********************************



*********************************

For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

**************************

Friday, November 16, 2018



Howard Dean: Republicans will 'have a terrible time because they’re getting older and whiter'

The usual Leftist one-sided commentary.  He forgets that today's young Leftists will mostly be tomorrow's wiser conservatives: As life educates them, they become more conservative.  Both Churchill and Reagan started out as liberals.  The drift from Left to Right through the lifespan is very common

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean was pleased with the party’s performance in last week’s midterm elections — and not just because it regained control of the House.

According to Dean, a much more important trend emerged. “Young people are taking over the Democratic Party, and that’s a very good thing,” the former Vermont governor said in an interview with Yahoo News’ “Bots & Ballots.”

“There’s a huge grassroots movement in this country run by people who are mostly under 35,” Dean said. “And they basically did all of the organization.”

That youth movement, according to Dean, puts the party in a much better position than the GOP. “Republicans, I think, are going to have a terrible time because they’re getting older and whiter,” he said. “And that’s not the direction the country’s going in.”

SOURCE

********************************

'Hate Crimes' and Demo Demonization of 'Racist' GOP

Leftist leaders blame Republicans 24/7, so it's no wonder the rank and file believe it.   

“Most Democrats see Republicans as racist, sexist,” blared the headline to a new Axios poll. An astounding 61% of Democrats view their Republican counterparts in this very negative light. (Frankly, we’re surprised it’s only 61%.) Other adjectives that a substantial number of Americans use to describe people of the other party include greedy, corrupt, ignorant, spiteful, and evil.

Granted, this wasn’t a reliably scientific poll and we don’t bring it up because the results are airtight. But they certainly do affirm what we’ve long warned: Heated political rhetoric has consequences, and primarily it’s being driven by the Democrat/Leftmedia complex.

These leftist leaders insist 24/7 that everything Republicans say, think, or do is racist. We’re even told that hiring people based on merit is racist. Notably, it is Republicans who fight for school choice for minorities stuck in failing inner-city schools, In some areas, minorities are noticing; in others, not so much. And it’s Republicans, not Democrats, who are lifting minorities out of poverty. Blacks in particular are thriving under President Donald Trump.

Nevertheless, just before the midterms, Sen. Bernie Sanders declared Trump “the most racist, sexist, homophobic, bigoted president in history.” Is it any wonder that rank-and-file Democrat voters believe what they’re hearing?

Kim Hart of Axios explains the problem with that: “If Americans are this convinced that the other side isn’t just wrong, but dumb and evil, they’ll never be able to find enough common ground to solve real problems. And they’re more likely to elect leaders who can’t do it, either.” As we explained before Thanksgiving 2016, leftist demonization of half the country is why Trump won, though, granted, he wasn’t elected to “find common ground.”

In related news, the FBI reports that 2017 saw a 17% increase in reported “hate crimes,” including a 37% spike in crimes targeting Jews. The Washington Post reports, “Of the more than 7,000 hate crime incidents in 2017, more than 4,000 were crimes against people, ranging from threats and intimidation to assault [and] murder. More than 3,000 were crimes against property, ranging from vandalism to robbery to arson.”

A few observations:

First, this increase is fueled largely by more cities and law-enforcement agencies reporting a category called “hate crimes” — as in 1,000 additional sources nationwide. Second, we’ve long questioned the very category of “hate crimes” because it’s so subjective and because it motivates people in favored victim groups to report crimes that didn’t actually happen — a fad of hate-crime hoaxes. Third, the increase of anti-Semitic sentiments in the country is driven by Democrats and by so-called “alt-right” racists who are all “alt” and no “right.”

Finally — and the reason this relates to the poll where we began — is that leftists blame Trump. The leftist, hate-hustling Southern Poverty Law Center certainly does, and the Leftmedia takes its cues about “hate” from these supposedly unbiased propagandists. Moreover, writes Vox’s German Lopez, “The [FBI] report covers the first year of President Donald Trump’s time in the White House, and he’s been repeatedly criticized, from his campaign to his presidential statements and tweets, of stoking racist sentiment, particularly against immigrants and refugees.”

If “hate crimes” are “rising,” all the better to solidify that blame-Trump narrative and to further divide the country by vilifying all the “deplorables” on the Right. The predictable result is polls showing that everyday Democrat voters view their Republican counterparts as evil racists.

SOURCE

*********************************

Some people need to see socialism to believe it is bad

Seeing is believing.

People around the country were baffled when exit polls showed Robert or Beto O’Rourke won more votes from native Texans than incumbent Senator Ted Cruz in the midterm elections. But this should not be a surprise, it should be a lesson — some people need to experience socialism to understand its disastrous effects.

Exit polls found that 57 percent of people who moved to Texas (also known as transplants) voted for Cruz while 51 percent of those born in Texas voted for O’Rourke.

While many Texas conservatives blamed the liberalization of the state on transplants from California and New York moving to the area for lower property values, it seems the opposite is taking place. These people are not bringing their liberal ideas, but running away from them.

Chuck DeVore of the Washington Examiner explains, “The lack of economic freedom in California compared to Texas is likely why, according to census, from 2012 to 2016, a net of 521,052 Californians left the state. Texas was their most popular destination, with a net of 114,413 Californians moving 1,300 miles east to the Lone Star State.  In the five years through 2016, some 542,432 more Americans moved to Texas than moved out, supporting a growth rate double that of California’s.”

It seems those who have experienced the socialist policies of high tax states are fleeing to Texas and voting to keep those taxes and regulations low.

Conversely, youth in Texas have rallied behind O’Rourke, increasing youth turnout by 500 percent in the midterm election.

For the youth and those unexposed to progressive policies, increasing government spending with expanded Medicare and free tuition seem like good ideas. But for those who just left a state burdened by these policies, they are reprehensive to reinstitute them.

Nationally, this can also be seen by some immigrant groups who tend back the Republican Party after legally entering the country to escape socialism at home.

In Florida, Cuban voters have historically leaned right, and in 2018 tended to pick Ron DeSantis for Governor and Rick Scott for Senator — the Republican picks.

Similarly, Russian immigrants, particularly Russian-speaking Jews, who grew up under Soviet rule, backed Donald Trump in 2016 and rejected progressive Democrats like Bernie Sanders.

Janna Sundeyeva told the Atlantic in 2016, “I don’t like big government… I would ask [left wingers]: Have you ever lived under a revolution? Do you know what it’s like? When someone comes and takes your family member in the night?”

Another Russian immigrant simply said, “To defend the country from Hillary, I would vote [for] a dinosaur.”

Immigrants who have experienced the harm of big government policies and socialism that strip individuals of their rights overwhelmingly lean Republican so as to avoid bringing that danger to this country. Individuals living in high tax, big government states are fleeing to low tax, individual liberty-based states. The pattern is the same — those who know socialism, know it does not work. Yet the left is working tirelessly to convince young voters there is a chance for the socialism to bloom here in the United States, it is critical the populations who have experienced this harm work to prevent that from coming true.

SOURCE
**********************************

Trump is not a bad dream

A bit of realism from the Left

Donald Trump is not a bad dream. The world has to accept that he's a waking reality. Remember all the talk of impeachment? It's been two years now. Far from being impeached, he's entrenched himself.

After an ineffectual first year in the presidency, he has worked out how to exert power. He now has a solid record of getting his way. At the end of two full terms, Barack Obama had kept 48 per cent of his election promises, according to the non-partisan Politifact. After just half of one term, Trump has either delivered or is working towards 53 per cent of his. He's broken just 8 per cent.

He's accomplished most of his topline pledges. Among them, stopping immigration from terror-prone countries (the so-called Muslim ban), income tax cuts, company tax cuts, tearing up trade deals, putting taxes on China, pulling out of the Paris accord, impaling the Iran one. He has delivered a majority of the US Supreme Court to conservatives. And the midterm elections last week his party increased its dominance of the Senate.

And in the House? In the 153 years since the US Civil War, the president's party has lost an average of 35 House seats in midterm elections. On the current count, Trump's party has lost 32. This result is "so very normal", writes sociologist Musa al-Gharbi of Columbia University in The Washington Post, that Democrats need to adjust their frame of reference. The midterm results for Trump are eerily similar to those for Ronald Reagan, he points out. Reagan went on to win a second term in a landslide.

But Trump is hated, isn't he? Depends who you ask. He remains unpopular with most of his people, yes. But his grip on the Republican Party is extraordinary. His approval rating among Republicans remains around 90 per cent. The American left talks of waging "resistance". But America is becoming more like Trump, not less. The Democrats have fallen in behind Trump on trade. They aren't proposing bigger immigration intakes, either. "Most Americans in both parties also agree with Mr Trump that America's old allies need to look out for themselves and stop relying on the US to protect them," writes US foreign affairs analyst Robert Kagan in The New York Times.

As time goes on, Trump looks less like an aberration, more like a culmination. The foreign governments who prefer to think that he's just a passing squall need to realise that Trump's America is "not a spasm but a new direction in American foreign policy, or rather a return to older traditions," says Kagan, traditions of "the kind that kept us on the sidelines while fascism and militarism almost conquered the world". The headline on his analysis: "'America First' Has Won."

SOURCE

************************************

Capitalism: Understanding Its Secret

The socialists of today, who would have you believe that competition under capitalism is merely another exploitative form of anarchy, do not appreciate the actual situation.

Those of us who are fans of capitalism deeply understand that capitalism is the source of wealth in our modern economy. We also know that governments do not create wealth but merely acquire funds by taking money (via taxes) from productive people who can manage to earn a profit from their business endeavors.

Many of the people who disagree with us think that capitalism is just an anarchistic, zero-sum game that paves the way for rich folks to exploit poor folks and to steal the products of workers’ labor. So which side of this contentious debate is on the right track?

The Law of the Jungle

For a clue, let us first look at some of the things that differentiate humans from animals. Wild animals exist in a state of true anarchy. This word “anarchy” means “no government,” which is the environment where these creatures must live out their lives.

Animals must compete for survival under the law of the jungle, where might makes right and violence is the arbiter of all conflicts.

Animals must compete for survival under the law of the jungle, where might makes right, the ends justify the means, and violence is the arbiter of all conflicts. The animals set up a pecking order in their flock or herd. All of them compete for the top spot and eventually arrange themselves into a hierarchy that defines who gets to do what in their society.

Humans, on the other hand, do not necessarily need to live in anarchy but may form various forms of government to decide how to control behavior among members of their society. Regardless, people also set up pecking orders, except with more nuanced detail. The boss is in charge, and the workers mostly do his bidding while jockeying for better positions among themselves. Everyone who has ever held a job has observed this type of behavior in the workplace.

Producers vs. Consumers

Now let us compare competition in the primitive realm of animals to competition among the more advanced society of humans. Consider a community of lions that live on the Okavango Delta in Botswana and feeds on a herd of Cape buffalo. When a lion kills a buffalo, the chief lion, depending on the pecking order established in the pride, gets first dibs on the carcass. When the chief has satisfied his hunger, the other lions get to feed based on their standing in the lion hierarchy.

In an economic sense, the animals are consumers with no way to become producers.

Lions are at the mercy of nature in providing the limited resource of food, the buffalo herd. If their environment suffers a drought, the buffalo herd will decline, and thus the lions will also suffer a decline in their food resource. When the weather and the flow of the river are more generous, the buffalo herd will flourish and thus so will the lions. The lions have no way otherwise to manage the health and well-being of the buffalo, even though this represents their only food source. The animals are stuck in their limited natural environment with no way to improve upon their anarchistic lifestyle. In an economic sense, the animals are consumers with no way to become producers.

What does the human do in a similar situation? People may discover they like to eat lamb chops, so they gather a bunch of sheep together and build a fence around a pasture to keep the animals safe from other predators. They provide the sheep with food and water and an environment where they can breed and grow a larger herd. These folks realize their sheep have wool coats that may be harvested without harm to the animals and be fashioned into cloth for clothes and many other items.

Somebody discovers he likes the taste of apples, so he saves some of his harvest from the one apple tree he discovered in the forest and plants the seeds to make a grove of trees, and eventually an orchard. Once he has more apples than he can eat himself, he can use the surplus to help feed the sheep, or he can sell his apples to other folks who wish to buy them.

People, through their ingenuity and labor, create wealth where no wealth existed before.

The Creation of Wealth

People, through their ingenuity and labor, create wealth where no wealth existed before. They may engage in production until they have more lamb chops and applesauce than they know what to do with. This wealth becomes a benefit to their society. So the humans have an ability to use their intellect and labor to advance the flourishing of their species, whereas the lions may only exert their labor to carve an existence from the limited resources provided by an uncaring Mother Nature.

Under a system of economic freedom and freedom of competition where the individual human owns the means of production and is free to dispose of his property as he sees fit (a viable definition of capitalism), he is motivated to continue working so he may create even more wealth and trade it with other like-minded people for the fruits of their labor. Unlike the animals, humans can become producers as well as consumers.

The Secret

Note that men and women will lose their motivation to work and create wealth if they are not permitted to benefit from it. If someone creates a large herd of sheep and an orchard of apple trees and is then heavily taxed by the government, this person may decide his or her labor is not worth the effort. Similarly, if roving bands of thieves steal the fruit and run off with the lambs, the owner will have to divert some labor into hiding wealth and thus be unable to be as productive as before.

The socialists of today, who would have you believe that competition under capitalism is merely another exploitative form of anarchy, do not appreciate the actual situation.

Now, here is the secret I promised in the title to this essay. It is a quote from the book Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics by George Reisman. In Section 10 of Chapter 10, Reisman states the concept succinctly: “ ... under capitalism, competition is the diametric opposite of the law of the jungle: it is a competition of producers in the production of wealth, not of consumers in the consumption of wealth.”

SOURCE

********************************

For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

**************************

Thursday, November 15, 2018


The Art of the Veto

To pass a bill over the president's objections requires a two-thirds vote in each Chamber.  The Donks don't have that in either chamber.  So with the co-operation of the Congressional GOP, Trump can block everything coming from the Donks until they give him his wall.  They would have to deal or be impotent for two years.  The Senate could simply fail completely to schedule a vote on anything passed up from the House -- as they already often do -- And that would stop all Democrat in initiatives dead, with not even the conditions for a override vote being met

By Robert Romano

By last count, Republicans lost at least 32 seats in the House in the midterm elections, and U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is once again poised to be elected House Speaker. This means all legislation will now have to be worked out between a Democratic House and a Republican Senate led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

To navigate these new waters in 2019, President Donald Trump has signaled a willingness to negotiate but he must remember that his greatest leverage could come in the House minority if he wishes to plot a more conservative path.

Certainly there will be last-minute attempts in the lame duck session to get things done with Republican majorities, which may or may not work. Time is not a luxury. Democrats will believe they can get a better deal in January and will block legislation in the Senate. It’s up to Trump to convince them otherwise.

Looking forward, then, with at least 199 members in the House, Trump and the GOP should have enough votes to sustain any presidential vetoes if they play their cards right. All Trump needs are 145 members who are willing to stand with the President.

It’s how Reagan got tax cuts and defense spending done with a Democratic House in the 1980s, and it’s how Trump can still get things done in 2019.

In “The Art of the Deal,” Trump wrote, “The worst thing you can do in a deal is seem desperate to make it. That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you’re dead.” He was right. It was the major reason why Republicans, besides increasing defense spending, were not able to accomplish much in enacting the President’s agenda — including fully funding and building the southern border wall — despite having majorities in both houses of Congress.

So terrified were Republicans in Congress were of a partial government shutdown, they never even tried to deliver full funding for the wall. It would cost them control of the House, the sage advisors in the D.C. establishment warned.

And therefore the wall was never funded. The government was not shut down. And the House GOP lost the election for the House and their majority anyway. Go figure.

This time, Trump does not have to make that mistake. Instead of relying on a Republican House majority to deliver the wall, he can instead use the art of the veto. He can veto the spending bills until he gets what he wants — as long as one-third of the House is willing to stand with the President and sustain the veto.

As Trump wrote in his book, “The best thing you can do is deal from strength, and leverage is the biggest strength you have. Leverage is having something the other guy wants. Or better yet, needs. Or best of all, simply can’t do without.”

Trump added, “Leverage: don’t make deals without it.” Well, a presidential signature is needed to pass legislation in Congress.

But to get the legislation he wants, the President must be willing to say no deal. Veto the spending bills in 2019. To ratchet up the pressure, Trump and House Republicans could threaten not to provide back pay for federal workers deemed non-essential in a government shutdown situation, but this will require spines of steel by members.

The President should therefore consult with Republican leaders in both chambers on any potential negotiating strategy with Democrats in 2019, but in the end, Trump must be willing to go to bat legislatively for his agenda if he want to see it through.

The first two years of Trump’s term, he relied on outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to deliver key parts of his agenda. That failed, and Republicans arguably lost their House majority because of it. They didn’t fully repeal and replace Obamacare. The wall was not built. Non-defense spending was not cut as in Trump’s proposed budget. And so forth.

It wasn’t all the House’s fault. Obamacare repeal and replace actually passed the House, but it ran into a stone wall in the Senate. Once the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) voted against the bill, it was done. Still, it was House Republicans who paid the price on Nov. 6. Since then, they certainly did not do much to advance their cause. Where’s the wall?

Trump should be able to leverage that failure now to galvanize House Republicans behind the proposition of sustaining his vetoes. He may have to retool his legislative team at the White House to adjust to the new reality — and to exploit Pelosi’s weak position. If Congress cannot override the veto, Pelosi will have to come to the table to deal on the spending bills. She cannot impose her will on the Senate and the White House, something House Republicans had to painfully learn in 2011 and 2013. Now it’s Democrats’ turn to learn the same lesson.

SOURCE 

*******************************

Socialists Won’t Rest Until We Have Single-Payer Health Care. We Must Stop Them

The 2018 midterms could someday be remembered as the beginning of the Democratic Party’s full embrace of creating a single-payer health care system in the United States. For the first time in American history, a large number of Democrats, many of whom identify as socialists, openly campaigned for the creation of a government-run health insurance model.

For instance, Democratic Socialists of America member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won 78 percent of the vote on Election Day, championed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “Medicare for All” proposal, calling it the “ethical, logical, and affordable path to ensuring no person goes without dignified healthcare.” According to Ocasio-Cortez, “Medicare for All will reduce the existing costs of healthcare (and make Medicare cheaper, too!) by allowing all people in the US to buy into a universal healthcare system.”

Ocasio-Cortez says she supports a universal system that would include “full vision, dental, and mental healthcare - because we know that true healthcare is about the whole self, not just your yearly physical.”

The cost of enacting such a radical program would be astronomical. Researchers at the Mercatus Center say Sen. Sanders’ plan would cost $32.6 trillion in its first decade, and they note that even if Congress were to double taxes paid by individuals and corporations, it wouldn’t be enough to pay for the program. That should terrify you, especially since the U.S. government’s deficit for the 2018 fiscal year was $782 billion and the national debt now stands at a $21.7 trillion.

But as shocking as the price tag for single-payer health care would be, it pales in comparison to the numerous health care-related problems that would be created by such a model. For starters, the government has an absolutely terrible record of providing health care. One example is the Veterans Health Administration, which is run by the federal government. It routinely suffers from underfunding and long wait times, which has forced the agency to allow veterans to go elsewhere to receive care. As the Military Times notes, “About one-third of all VA medical appointments today are … conducted by physicians outside the department’s system.”

The Washington Examiner reported in 2017, “VA documents also show there are currently 184,520 veterans across the nation waiting longer than 30 days for an appointment and more than 45,000 new veteran patients waiting more than 90 days. Internal VA documents also indicate 479,239 veterans nationwide are waiting for physician requested follow-up appointments over 30 days for the period July to September 2017.”

The Examiner also reported, “Internal Department of Veterans Affairs data provided by whistleblowers reveals the agency is only filling about half of its capacity to make medical appointments,” which means many of the VA’s problems are related to mismanagement and inefficiencies.

The VA also struggles to find health care professionals to fill open positions. Pew notes “40,000 of the 335,000 positions in the Veterans Health Administration are vacant,” and most of these positions are for nurses and doctors.

Medicaid also has a long track record of failing to provide adequate coverage for enrollees. One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Oncology found Medicaid patients in California died from cancer at much higher rates than those enrolled in private health insurance plans. According to the study’s researchers, they found “substantial and persistent disparities in survival for patients with either no or other public insurance compared with private insurance for all 5 of the cancer sites examined.”

Many doctors, especially highly skilled specialists, refuse to take on patients with Medicaid coverage because of Medicaid’s low reimbursement rates. An important 2011 study found doctors are 35 percent less likely to accept a new patient enrolled in Medicaid than they are to accept a patient with private health insurance.

If the federal government can’t properly run the VA system or Medicaid—or even the Post Office—why does anyone think it could manage one of the largest industries in the United States today?

Even more troubling is the danger posed to individual liberty by a single-payer health care system. In a world in which the government pays your health care bills, it has an incentive to reward and punish behavior. Why not tax overweight Americans more money under a single-payer scheme? Don’t they cost the system more? Why not force Americans to quit smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol? Aren’t those activities associated with numerous health dangers?

Single-payer systems are also notorious for rationing care. In October, the Telegraph (U.K.) noted, “A report by Fertility Fairness reveals that local commissioners are imposing ‘arbitrary’ criteria such as male body mass index (BMI), as well as age, as a means of restricting access to IVF,” which is used to help couples struggling to have children.

In other words, the masterminds in England have determined some men are just too fat to have children.

This story comes on the heels of reports indicating the English National Health Service’s forthcoming 10-year plan will make group appointments with primary care doctors—which could include as many as 15 patients—the “default” option for patients with long-term health problems.

For these and countless other reasons, conservatives and other supporters of individual liberty need to begin mobilizing against some left-wing Democrats’ plan to introduce a single-payer system in the United States. If Democrats manage to gain even more power in 2020, they will almost certainly attempt to enact a single-payer plan similar to Sen. Sanders’ Medicare for All proposal. To save our republic (and lives), we must stop them.

SOURCE 

************************************

A rather fun picture:  Nancy Pelosi as a little girl smiling at the big dominant male



************************************

Florida elections in limbo as recount looms

It’s nowhere near as bad as 2000, but the mess in Florida’s Broward County is at the very least a cautionary tale about massive mail-in and early voting, with events in Arizona adding to the fire.

As a series of tweets by Sen. Marco Rubio flagged on Thursday, Broward Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes was refusing to report the number of ballots still to be counted, or even to provide regular progress reports. A judge late Friday ruled that she’s in violation of the state public records act.

In the past, courts slapped Snipes for illegally destroying ballots in the wake of a contested 2016 vote count for a House seat and again this February for opening mail-in ballots before they’d been authenticated.

Her office has also had troubles with leaving ballot measures off some ballots, illegally reporting early-voting results before the polls closed and on and on.

Now some Republicans suspect Broward’s late count (and similar slow reporting from next-door Palm Beach County) is allowing shenanigans to favor the Democratic candidates for governor and US Senate. Already, they’ve reduced GOP election-night leads enough to force statewide recounts.

Even if it all comes down to incompetence, not chicanery, it could taint the final results.

The same is true in Arizona, where Republicans have gone to court over local election officials’ decisions to continue validating mail-in ballots long after Election Day — something the GOP lawyers say violates the law. This could upend the Senate race, where late-reported votes have put Democrat Kyrsten Sinema ahead of Republican Martha McSally, who led Wednesday morning.

Set your partisan blinders aside, and it’s easy enough to see why Republicans will scream if they see highly irregular and far-from-transparent action by local officials in heavily Democratic counties “stealing” a US Senate seat. Or why Democrats will be furious if GOP “vote suppression” does the “stealing.”

One bottom line: Early voting and vote-by-mail won’t be any cure-all for the woes of New York City’s Board of Elections, as Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson suggest. Gifted bunglers can always find a way to mess up.

SOURCE 

**************************************

The big three current differences between conservatives and progressive

No. 1: Conservatives and progressives have different views about individuals and communities.

Conservatives ask: “What can I do for myself, my family, my community, and my fellow citizens?”

Progressives ask: “What is unfair?” “What am I owed?” “What has offended me today?” “What must my country do for me?”

The traditional American ethic of achievement gives way to the progressive ethic of aggrievement.

As opposed to a variety of individuals making up one American community, progressives seek to place individuals in a variety of competing communities. The first creates unity. The second, identity politics.

No 2.: Conservatives and progressives have different views about diversity and choice.

For progressives, different ethnicities and gender identities are welcomed but a variety of opinions and ideas are not.

Just look at two areas of public life dominated by the left. On college campuses free speech is under attack. If you’re a conservative working at a social media company or using one of their platforms to share your views, you may find your job eliminated or your account deleted.

And when it comes to choice, progressives love the word, but they don’t want it to apply to our decisions on education, health care, and even how and where we live out our religious faith.

Conservatives take a different approach.

Parents, not the zip code they live in, should choose the school that is best for their child.

We all need health care, but we don’t all need the same kind or same amount. And while people should be free to live as they choose, no one should be forced to endorse or celebrate those choices if it violates their religious beliefs.

Conservatives say people should have choices. Progressives say one political solution fits all.

No. 3: Conservatives and progressives have a different view of “We the People.”

Whether it’s the Second Amendment, immigration, or putting limits on abortion, if we the people don’t pass laws progressives approve, they turn to judges, executive orders, and government bureaucrats behind closed doors to overturn the will of voters.

Whatever one may think about the wisdom of hiking the minimum wage, banning plastic straws, or removing controversial historical monuments, conservatives believe voters closest to the issues should be the ones making such decisions for their communities—not lawmakers in Washington or a panel of judges fives states away.

To sum it up, conservatives believe in individual rights, not special rights. Conservatives believe in allowing Texas to be Texas and Vermont to be Vermont. And conservatives believe we the people can vote with our feet about where we want to live and what laws we want to live under.

SOURCE 

********************************

For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

**************************